Australia’s Donut King opens its doors in China

Posted by James Ferre on 12th November 2008

Leading Australian retail brand Donut King has opened its first outlet in Shanghai, with additional stores to open in Shanghai during the coming months.

The opening on 1 November 2008 was the result of a Master Licence Agreement between Retail Food Group and Shanghai-based Mak Brands Limited to develop and proliferate the Donut King franchise system within the People’s Republic of China.

Donut King opened its first outlet in Eastgarden Sydney in 1981 and there are now more than 309 Donut King outlets in Australia under the Retail Food Group banner.

Retail Food Group Managing Director Tony Alford said Mak Brands Limited had plans to open at least 20 stores in China within five years, including another two stores in Shanghai prior to end December 2008, and stores in Hangzhou and Ningbo in the Yangtze River Delta.

“China represents a fantastic opportunity for the Donut King system because of the growing attraction of western food,” he said.

The Chinese market has presented a very lucrative opportunity for many food and beverage companies around the world, with major fast food chains and many exporters finding prosperity upon entrance. But for all the successes there have been more failures, often attributed to a lack of understanding of a different culture and assumptions that what works in one market will prove just as successful in another.

To ensure they could appeal to the Chinese market Donut King carried out extensive market and consumer research, which has led to a subtle adjustment to their products to meet the sensibilities, taste profiles and expectations of the Chinese market while retaining the system’s signature branding and products. This has included reducing the sweetness of some products and adding some special Chinese flavours including green and chia to the current Donut King iced beverage range.

Retail Food Group is also continuing to investigate the possible launch of its other retail brands – Brumby’s Bakery, Michel’s Patisserie and bb’s cafe – into the Chinese marketplace over the next three years.